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Iran: Death Penalty

Volume 703: debated on Monday 30 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Slovenian presidency of the European Union has received a response from the Government of Iran following its statement of 4 June on the death sentences imposed on Behnood Shojaee, Mohammad Fadaei and Saeed Jazee, who were aged under 18 at the time of their alleged offences; and whether they will make representations to the Government of Iran about their obligations under international covenants on death sentences. [HL4235]

Following the 4 June statement about planned juvenile executions in Iran, the EU presidency issued a further statement on 10 June calling for the Iranian authorities to halt the execution of juvenile offenders Mohammad Fadaei, Behnood Shojaee and Saeed Jazee. The embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Tehran also spoke to an official from the Iranian Judiciary to make further representations and draw attention to the EU's statement. The executions of Fadaei and Shojaee, which had been scheduled for 11 June, were subsequently stayed for one month to allow time for further negotiations with the respective families. However, a 17 year-old juvenile offender, Mohammad Hassanzadeh, was executed on 10 June and Saeed Jazee's execution remains scheduled for 25 June.

The position of the EU and the Government on the death penalty is clear, and the execution of juveniles is against all international human rights standards. The EU issued a further statement on 13 June which strongly condemned the execution of Mohammad Hassanzadeh in direct contravention of international law and Iran's obligations as set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The statement reiterated that there is “absolutely no justification for the use of the death penalty by the Iranian authorities in the case of juvenile offenders” and called for an end to all executions of juvenile offenders, a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in all instances and for Iran to bring her own legislation in line with the international human rights conventions into which she entered freely and indeed ratified.

We will continue to make representations to the Government of Iran regarding their obligations on these matters.